23 June 2005 | philip_vanderveken
Typically eighties, but worth watching thanks to Michael J. Fox
The eighties, the decade of ugly clothes and hairstyles, bad music and easily forgettable movies. But there is one positive aspect about that decade and that is Michael J. Fox. He's probably one of the few actors who started his movie career at those days who I still admire. He's still nice to watch, especially in light weighted comedies like this one.
In fact, the title "The Secret of My Succe$s" already says enough about what you can expect from this movie (also notice the little dollar sign in the title), but I'll give a short resume anyway. It shows how Brantley Foster, a talented and well-educated young man coming from rural Kansas, goes to New York to find a suiting job and a nice girlfriend. But he isn't very successful, no company wants to hire him, because he doesn't have any experience. Before leaving Kansas for the Big Apple, his father had bought him a return ticket home and his mother gave him the address of his in New York living uncle, Howard Prescott, just in case when he should need some help. But what Foster didn't know is that his uncle runs a multi-million-dollar company. When he pays him a visit, he gets a job ... in the mail room. But then he meets Christy Wills, who happens to be one of the top executives. Believing that the best way to win her over is by posing as an executive, Brantley decides to take a position under the name Carlton Whitfield and of course things soon start to get completely out of hand...
I admit that this movie is as 'eighties' as you can get them. I'm pretty sure that no-one of todays directors would be able to make it exactly the way it looks, because they don't write scripts like that anymore and there are no more actors like Fox. The man that comes closest for this kind of role is probably Jim Carrey, but even then you would get a completely different kind of movie. It's probably thanks to Michael J. Fox, who is really very nice in this movie, that I forgot about most of its flaws. Once again he's the boyish, sweet guy and that's probably the best thing this movie has to offer. If it hadn't been for him, almost no-one would ever have seen the movie or would still remember it because the story isn't special and it's too typical for that time period.
All in all this is a fast-paced comedy full of typical eighties clichés, but it works thanks to Michael J. Fox's performance and that's why I still give it a 7/10.